With Abraham now well established in his relationship with the Lord, he becomes a part of one of God’s difficult decisions about sin and men. The Jordon Valley had become incredibly sinful. So evil that God could no longer abide the continued decompensation. He decided to destroy the city. In his discussion, Abraham asked the Lord to consider sparing the city for those left that were still Godly. God agreed to spare the city for 50 righteous people. The negotiation that followed showed God’s desire to spare the righteous and Abraham’s faith to ask for the lives of his family.
Abraham negotiated the salvation of the city down to 10 people being righteous, sadly, there were not even 10 people in that city that loved God. Lot and His daughters were spared, but the cities in the Jordan valley were destroyed. It was a warning that while God would not destroy the world by flood, it did not mean He would continue to tolerate sin and evil.
In current culture, the level of evil among men is obvious, and the selfishness of people and disregard for life at an all-time high. It is a heart break to see the lack of respect for God and others. Still there are many who still believe that loving God and serving him is the greatest life a person could live. It is for those that still have faith and follow God that allows God to spare the lives of those in the evil world in which we live.
We, like Abraham, need to be faithful and intent on the prayer for the lost. In James, Jesus’ brother reminded us that the prayers of a righteous person avails much. God will hold His hand if he could save a person that is lost. It is God’s desire that none should perish. But He will not hold His hand forever. When it is obvious that men’s desire to live apart from God, He will withdraw his hands and his protection. Once done, men are incredibly predictable and consistent in their downward spiral to hopelessness.
We should never give up, but we should not think God will not take steps to give men up to their sinful desires. It is a difficult paradigm, but history confirms that God will not be mocked.
God Bless You
16 When the men got up to leave, they looked down toward Sodom, and Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way. 17 Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 18 Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.[c] 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.[d] 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.